News and Notes May 2023

May 2023 Newsletter 2

The dangers of face mask use, particularly in pregnant women, children and adolescents

According to the scientific journal Heliyon, several studies have examined the re-breathing of carbon dioxide (CO2) while wearing masks. These studies have found that CO2 levels can increase under masks, when wearing masks for more than 5 minutes, to chronic exposure to elevated CO2 levels (ranging from 1.41% to 3.2% in inhaled air). Experimental data from various experiments, including simulations and measurements, have consistently shown elevated CO2 concentrations under masks, particularly N95/FFP2 masks. 

While short-term exposure limits are usually not exceeded, long-term effects should be considered based on experimental data. Animal studies and toxicity experts have indicated that exposure to elevated CO2 levels may increase the risk of stillbirths and have teratogenic effects, causing irreversible neuron damage, reduced cognitive function, and hormonal disruptions. Adolescents may also experience negative effects on neurodevelopment and testicular toxicity. The study suggests a need to reconsider mask mandates, particularly for vulnerable groups, due to potential negative impacts.

The dangers of face mask

Possible fertility issues?

Infertility should be a concern to those who have been unable to successfully fall pregnant after trying for more than one year.
Infertility in women can be attributed to various factors including (but not limited to):

  • Premature ovarian failure (POF). In this instance the ovaries stop functioning before the onset of natural menopause at the approximate age of 40. Women may experience missed periods at first, which in time may result in the regular symptoms of menopause.
  •  Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the development of cysts on the ovaries due to an increase in the amount of hormones called androgens produced by the ovaries. The increased levels of androgens may hinder the development of and also possibly the release of the egg to be fertilised.
  • Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous tumours that grow in and around the uterus wall.
  • Endometriosis is a condition in which the layer of tissue that normally covers the inside of the uterus grows outside of it.
  • Male infertility can be attributed to:
    • Physical problems such as testes that do not produce healthy or enough sperm
    • Inability to have and maintain an erection
    • Insufficient semen to carry the sperm to the egg
    • Underdeveloped or the wrong shape sperm that do not swim in the right direction
    • Cryptorchism is a condition where the testes do not descend into the scrotum
  • Environmental factors affecting fertility of both men and women include:
    • Age
    • Poor diet
    •  Stress
    •  Being overweight or underweight
    • Medication
    • Smoking, drugs and excessive alcohol
    •  Environmental toxins

Consult your health practitioner, gynaecologist or fertility specialist to determine the cause of your not being able to conceive. This can be a very stressful time for both potential parents and all avenues should be investigated before deciding on a solution.


Coralberry as remedy

A study published in the journal Nature Communications investigated the anti-asthmatic properties of the coralberry (Ardisia crenata) or Christmas berry. Scientists at the University of Bonn, Germany, have demonstrated that a substance found in the berry acts on the Gp proteins (a specific protein involved in asthma-related inflammation) in the lung, reducing the spasms associated with asthma. Mice showed a better response to coralberry extract than to conventional asthma treatment, and also did not develop any significant side effects.

Coral berry

Natural remedies for lip sores

Lip sores, also known as cold sores or fever blisters, are contagious with lip-to-lip contact, and are caused by Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1), which is a neurotropic virus capable of infecting nerve cells. The blood brain barrier blocks the usual immune response to HSV-1 infection.

Once contracted, the virus resides in the nervous sys- tem for life, but can lie dormant and only flare up when triggered by stress, fatigue, sun exposure, illness, cold weather or wind, hormones or trauma to the lip. The red blister that appears on the lip is typically preceded by a tender, tingling sensation that swells into a fluid-filled lesion within a few days.

The sore can take up to two weeks to clear up, but can be treated effectively with topical remedies if caught early enough. Try natural anti-viral remedies such as tea tree oil, propolis, colloidal silver or red marine algae.

Lip sores

The surprising role of walnuts and the gut in promoting heart health

A recent study reveals that the benefits of walnuts go beyond just their nutritional value. A new approach, known as metatranscriptomics, was used to study the gene expression of gut microbes to determine the impact of walnut consumption on the gut microbiome gene expression. The findings show that introducing walnuts into a person’s diet may alter the gut’s mix of microbes, increasing the body's production of the amino acid L-homoarginine, which is linked to a lower risk for cardiovascular disease. The study's focus on the potential impact of walnuts on the gut microbiome highlights the importance of diet in shaping microbial communities in the human body. However, further research is needed to understand the mechanisms behind these effects and to identify other foods or supplements that may have similar benefits.


Weight gain and the gut microbiome

Obese individuals have a less diverse gut microbiome than lean individuals, with a higher proportion of pro-inflammatory bacteria and a lower proportion of beneficial bacteria. Studies in mice have shown that transplanting fecal microbiota from obese animals to lean animals can induce weight gain and metabolic dysfunction. Probiotics, prebiotics, and fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) are potential therapeutic approaches for manipulating the microbiome. Probiotics have shown promising results in animal models, while prebiotics have demonstrated metabolic improvements in both animals and humans. FMT has been successful in treating gastrointestinal disorders and is now being investigated for metabolic diseases.


Breakthrough research may have discovered the cause of grey hair. 

Scientists have found that the accumulation of hydrogen peroxide in hair follicles can block the production of melanin, the pigment responsible for hair color. The study suggests that the build-up of hydrogen peroxide is caused by wear and tear on hair follicles as we age. Researchers have identified a compound called PC-KUS that can effectively reverse the greying process by breaking down the hydrogen peroxide build-up. The discovery could lead to the development of new treatments to prevent or reverse grey hair.

grey hair

More than sweat is required to flush out toxins

The idea that you can ‘sweat out’ toxins is a common misconception. While sweating is a natural process that helps regulate body temperature and eliminate some waste products, it does not effectively remove toxins from the body. Toxins, such as heavy metals and chemicals, are typically stored in body tissues and organs and require specific processes, such as liver and kidney function, to be eliminated. Sweating excessively, such as in a sauna or during intense exercise, may actually lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, which can be harmful to health. While sweating can have some benefits, such as promoting relaxation and reducing stress, it is not a reliable method for removing toxins from the body.

sweaty toxins

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